"Religion should never be an allowable argument for any public policy or
laws. "Well yeah it shouldn't. That's how some muslim majority
countries get parts of sharia law implemented.
Sure, we should all join the ACLU, an organization that somehow lands on the
wrong side of most issues.
Those who claim religion is not special ignore the Constitutional provisions
which make it special. If they want to eliminate its special treatment by
government, then repeal or amend the 1st Amendment.
But there is another side to the story. There is a strong religious movement in
America to make me believe like others. I see it all the time on my tv. And
even the GOP is having a religious litmus test for candidates in the upcoming
primary; one reason why Romney cannot be elected in the primaries of the
republican party. There is another side to the story, thank you very much.
Is he serious? All of his arguments are true: religions are not exclusive in
doing good. Religions do not have the right to decide public policy for
everyone. Religion does negatively impact society in trying to withhold rights
from others. Religion historically has tried to deny rights to women, blacks,
and gays in the public arena. It comes to the same thing over and over:
religions claim exclusive ownership of rights that are not theirs to begin with.
Then they claim their rights are violated if those rights are shared with
others. For example, how does gay marriage take away anyone else's right to be
Young makes some very good points, and his credibility is better not speaking as
the representative of a religious organization. I tend to agree with his view
on the ACLU. It fights for individual rights, even when that fight is
unpopular. The LDS community, if it understands its own history, should
appreciate that battle. I believe Joseph Smith would fully concur.
An interesting comment from a man who does not believe in the 2nd Amendment.
And yes, the US Supreme Court has ruled that it applies to individual US
citizens and not the states.
Just because religion is losing in the arena of public opinion, it doesn't mean
people are losing freedom.
Wow, interesting set of comments we have here so far. Excepting the reserved
amst of Plano TX, no DN reader seems to agree much with Michael Young. What
does it all mean?
This problem is increasing. In times past Socialist science based
governments worked within religions, but attacked specific religious groups. In
Germany these also thought of themselves as humanitarian, environmentalist,
vegetarians etc. But placed little value on the freedoms of others.Atheist governments are notorious for killing, imprisoning, and suppressing
religious and other dissidents, and millions have died from Tibet to
Cambodia. In America we sought to exterminate one religious group,
and even now the ACLU and others continues to attack this religious group:
taking rights to free speech, rights to own property, rights to be politically
involved, etc. Our tax funded Universities allow any free speech
against religion, but try speaking in favor of it. For example, when I was at
the University of Utah, professors spent quarters trying to prove there was no
God, often ridiculed religious beliefs, and singled out Mormons, regularly
giving misinformation about LDS persons, which increased prejudices. Students
who spoke out were admittedly discriminated against, given bad grades for
quoting disliked religious persons etc Our Country was founded on
principles of religious freedom because Founders knew it is vital for American
survival. Those freedoms are increasingly being taken by certain
"activists" and groups.
I've got to take issue with mormon thinker. Thank heaven for solid religious
influences in our laws. Marriage has never just been about two consenting
adults, or a husband and wife, its about a foundation for future generations.
Each child is entitled to a father and a mother. Laws against incest also have
in mind the interests of the unborn. Much of our criminal codes are founded
upon Christian principles. I can't imagine raising children in a society
without laws that encourage us to respect the property and well being of others.
When we esteem others as ourselves, that is religion, folks.
I have to agree with the three arguments in this article. Religion is a bane on
society. Religion promotes unjust treatment of minorities and suppression of
enlightenment and education. If you look at the history of the world, more than
90% of all wars, death, and destruction have been caused by religion. The best
thing for this country would be to do away with religion. Religion is a disease
If the Lord is God, follow him. Old but good advice.
Mr. Young makes several excellent arguments and points.All religions
are belief systems that happen to include a deity.There are other belief
systems with no deity.Why should one belief system be denied access
to the public square simply because that belief system includes God?What if there really is a God?I have read court opinions (no I am
not an attorney) where the judge ruled against one party because (in part) their
position was based upon the Biblical commandment, Thou Shalt Not Commit
Adultery.Thous shalt not kill, is also in the Bible.Sorry Mr. Young, the ACLU is a communist organization that actively seeks to
destroy both our constitution and Christianity. Not going to support it.A standard of truth, like the Bible, leads to consistence. Once you
abandon a standard of truth you could end up allowing abortion, while
prosecuting a man who kills an unborn child (kick or gun shot to pregnant
woman's stomach)for murder.
It's amazing to think of what this, relatively young, country has endured so
far. From it's beiginning the American colonies were allowed to win a war that
technically, very few supported, and let's face we were NOT supposed to win the
Revolutionary War. Almost a century after that a devasting Civil war broke out.
Wars like that usually divide nations quickly and swiftly. Somehow, we survived
it and along with WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq...we and our principles still
stand. From this country's very foundation, its basis has been sure, firm,
immovable...we survived all this travesty, and the American society continues to
turn away from that foundation, which many members of the LDS faith believe was
inspired. I guess Americans are changing to want what the rest of the world has,
INSTABILITY. Slowly were move toward change our nation's foundation. Good Luck.
@Forrest 8:08 AM Religion is not exclusive in doing good. You don't have to
have religion to have law and order. Nobody is advocating society without laws
to protect the property and well-being of others. Certainly nobody is
advocating incest as a good thing. You don't have to be religious to be a good,
decent law-abiding citizen. You don't have to be religious to be a good parent.
@Mormon ThinkerYou ask how homosexual marriage affects me? To quote Brian
Brown, "Marriage is a public good. If you change the definition of
marriage, you dont just change it for the gay married couple down the street,
you change it for everyone. If gay marriage is allowed, then the state is
essentially saying that my views on marriage, and the majority of Americans
views on marriage, are equivalent to discrimination It profoundly affects me if
my children are taught in schools that my views on marriage are bigoted. It
profoundly affects me if the church that Im part of is treated in the law as
bigoted."Homosexuality is immoral. That is my religious belief,
protected by the Constitution. I will demand that my government leave consenting
adults in peace. I will likewise demand that my government NOT encourage nor
reward homosexual coupling. That is the difference between liberty and license.
Adults are free to live as they see fit. Society need not celebrate nor
encourage.To me, that is the essence of religious liberty.
Shoving your religion into others peoples lives isn't a, "religious
right"... Some people cannot accept that their ideas have
become irrelevant, that society moved on and is no longer interested in them.
People sometimes interpret society's moving on as persecution because they lose
the special position they once had, or thought they had, and they are not the
center of attention...
He is right.
the 1st amendment is to keep government away from religion, not religion away
from government. Historically governments have infringed on the rights of the
people to worship as they will. A democracy has never been dominated by a single
religious body, but the morals taught by the various sects are a great boon to
the sovereignty of communities, states and countrys. Leaver religion
alone, do people not see that we will 'tolerate' ourselves to poverty,
degradation and a fallen government? Religion might be the only thing holding us
Thank you Forrest, I agree. Atl134 (2:24 a.m.), one reason America
stands out from other countries is that our laws are based on Christian
principles, yet our government is not a theocracy. The Muslim majority
countries you refer to are theocracies, which leads to serious repression and
persecution. Some Muslim majority countries, such as Syria, are not
theocracies. Yes, they happen to be ruled by an iron-fisted dictator but
religion is not mandated.
I think you're going to see Pres. Young very quickly come out and clarify his
comments, which obviously were made in an off-the-cuff way and focused on how
the ACLU has defended the LDS Church at times, which is true. But that hardly
means he supports other ACLU efforts - my strong suspicion is that he was
talking about supporting the ACLU in its support of the LDS Church, NOT in every
ACLU cause.And of course religions should not be able to make
policy, but neither can we reject a policy merely because religions support it.
For example, there are of course strong religious arguments across all major
faiths against homosexuality and gay marriage...but that hardly means we should
just accept gay marriage because religions oppose it, any more than we'd abandon
laws against murder simply because there's a religious argument against murder.
There are many reasons to oppose government-endorsed gay marriage that have
nothing to do with religion.
The communist government of Laos has taken to heart President Young's
recommendation for the protection of religion. They have a functioning body
whole purpose just that. Included in their stated purpose is the regulation of
religion. I suppose it will be the next recommendation of President Young that
we initiate a body in this country that sees to it that religion is deprived of
the same rights as communists so whole heartedly enforce through persecution and
jail for those who violate their "regulation" laws.
Religious freedom should be on the defensive...We have a crazy
Florida pastor who's burning Qurans, we have Muslims in Afghanistan killin'
people, We have Jews in Israel tearin' down people's houses in the Gaza strip
and taking "Gods" land, we have Mike Huckabee stating that Americans
should be forced, by gunpoint no less, to convert to Christianity, this man may
be a presidential contender...Sorry, but Religion should be
Overall, Young is correct. But he would have been better off couching his ideas
explicitly within the framework of the 1st Amendment.When most
religious people speak of "religion", they convolute the issues by
failing to distinguish between religion as personal belief, and religion as a
corporate institution or social movement.They are not the same
thing, but they are related.The 1st Amendment protects individuals'
rights to freely "exercise" their personal beliefs, so long as that
does not interfere with others' rights.It also protects individuals'
rights to freely speak about their beliefs (including anonymous speech).
Religious speech is easily classified as "Commercial Speech": speech
done on behalf of a company or individual for the purpose of making a profit.
Unlike political speech, the Supreme Court does not afford commercial speech
full protection under the First Amendment.When individuals who share
personal beliefs get together and organize, then the 1st Amendment provides
limited protections: their limited rights to freely associate, peaceably
assemble, publish their beliefs (freedom of the Press), and petition the
government for "redress of grievances".To avoid religious
mob-rule, these rights are limited by how much they infringe on the rights of
Those who have an interest in religion, its influence, and ultimately, its
freedom should become intimately familiar with the following Harvard Law
publication: "Or For Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens
Very interesting article Dr. Young. Suppose we apply the concern to some
potential real local situation. Lets say you are the owner of several small
Christian book and health retail stores in SLC, Salt Lake County, Logan Utah,
and an expanding internet based sales site nationally. The stores are provide
products and services for and to conservative christians with very traditional
values. Your administrative assistant who has worked for you for several years
appearing each as a conservative young woman arrives back to work after a 2 week
vacation as a young man living in a relationship with a young woman that has
been a sales clerk in one of your stores. So, should you have the freedom to
exercise your religious principles and what is best for your business and
transfer the personnel to different roles in the company or even provide them
with a generous severence?
Is it moral relativism to have supported polygamy, yet oppose gay marriage?
Some call both immoral. And to "Voice of Reason", the selective
acceptance of the pursuit of human rights and freedom, is that also moral
relativism? It is a complicated world, isn't it? Not always black and white,
even though many seek comfort in looking at it that way.
To the Rock: the ACLU is a communist organization...Seriously? Well,
cancel my membership!Good grief.
@voice of reasonPolicies are not rejected because religious people support
them, that would be absurd. Policies ate rejected when the sole grounds for the
policy are religious in nature. For example, if the sole reason to suppress
homosexuals is a couple versus in the bible, it does not hold much weight.
Policies need to be based on secular reasoning , rationality, and truth. I
would love to hear your secular arguments against homosexuality. I have been
following the topic for a while and would be suprised if you could come up with
any legitimate reason.
Wow. Propaganda much? I like how this gives the
arguments against religion... but dosen't counter them.
i.e. I'm 'for' religion, but I can't seem to be able to defend them from
'others.' I am a firm believer in # 2: ARGUMENT 2: RELIGION IS GOOD,
BUT A PRIVATE AFFAIR. You have EVERY right to your belief. It is
yours. And it ends with you. To try to invade MY life with YOUR very much
belief, WITHOUT my consent, is not supportable. Otherwise, why
aren't YOU following MY belief as well? This, is a double
standard. I 'should' believe as you do, but you 'shouldn't' adhere
to my beliefs. michaelitos | 8:31 a.m., claims that:
'Homosexuality is immoral.' And yet, the moderator is probably
offended if I say: 'Mormons are immoral.' Same insult.
Different minority. And yet only one is every questioned in public
discourse. And it's NOT the homosexual insult. Actively
working to infringe your religious belief's on unwilling others is not
'justification'.... it is oppression.
@michaelitos 8:31 AM You just illustrated my point. If gays can be married,
that does not stop you from being married. Sharing rights with others takes
nothing away from you. Your religious right does not include the right to deny
other people their right just so you can be exclusive in that right. Allowing
others to be good, thereby removing an exclusive right right to goodness, does
not stop you from being good.
As a mormon living in Utah, I often forget that our tribe is a small minority
disliked by many in the United States. Mr. Young is correct that we should
affiliate with others who support the individual freedoms contained in the bill
of rights. The ACLU is not a communist organization. It represents those seeking
the protection of the Constitution, usually unpopular minorities. We too are
unpopular and need the protective freedoms contained in the bill of rights.
Esquire,Yes, the world can be a complicated place, but in this case
you're complicating it more than needed in order to support your desired view.
In reality, moral relativism simply means a philosophy that rejects
objective truth on issues of morality. You take mere disagreements on what is
moral to mean that there is no "independently true" morality. Of
course in reality there is objective moral truth, but you (or I) may not know it
in certain cases. Not knowing something right now doesn't magically make it
disappear from reality, and doesn't magically make it unknowable.Just because you are only capable of seeing, or admit to seeing, grey does not
mean that the colors black and white do not exist...that's really a form of
intellectual arrogance. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it
doesn't exist.There is moral black and white, Esquire, and I would
argue that at least on moral issues, there is no such thing as grey...only
issues perceived as grey from a lack of knowledge or understanding.
Mr. Young accurately identified the tactics being used to erode religion's
position in U.S. society. It wasn't his purpose, apparently, to defend
religion's position in this speech. I would like to hear his thoughts on that
subject. Many comments, if not most, oppose a religious
"position" in society. The commentors are willing to overlook and
detract from the firm foundation that religious belief contributed to this
so-called young nation. When you completely remove the possibility of God from
your belief set, you become a sail in the winds of the philosophies of men,
which blow in all directions at once if you listen closely enough. The result
will be the sure decline of the American nation, as there will be no compass by
which to measure direction except money, the ultimate governing principle of the
world in the absence of God. I prefer to follow God, side by side with His
often weak and confused disciples, than to leave the future of this nation and
the world to the rule of money, and the principles of self-preservation and
The ACLU is anti-religious and Leftist. It wasn't that long ago that the ACLU
in Utah attacked the Mormon church because the State's position on abortion was
too close to the Church's position. The ACLU's argument was, fundamentally,
that religious people should not be able to vote their conscience on any moral
issue, because that was "establishment" of religion. Then, not long
after, the ACLU invoked the Fair Housing Act to try to undo BYU's housing
segregation rules. This was a private arrangement, entered into voluntarily by
students and housing providers alike, based on religious principles, and the
ACLU tried to bring the force of federal law down to prevent it. All Mormons
would do by joining the ACLU is contribute to an organization whose leaders
would love nothing better than to destroy the Mormon church.
Mormon thinker: Mr. Young is not making those arguments but rather describes
them as; three broad arguments critics are using to limit religious freedom in
America. His entire discussion is how religious freedoms are slowly being
curtailed. Certainly limiting the religious freedoms intended by the founders
erodes the very most basic of rights for which this country was founded.
Religion is not to be established by government nor is government to limit the
free exercise thereof. While religion does not make public policy it is
intended to be free to influence it
Mormon thinker: Your example of gay marriage is interesting. The efforts of
many religions are aimed at maintaining marriage in accordance with the age old
definition and inherent moral standard it upholds. Your statement saying;
religion claims exclusive ownership of rights that are not theirs to begin with.
Then they claim their rights are violated if those rights are shared with
others. Despite the influence of religion, some government entities have said
gay marriage is legal, religion did not make that public policy but rather
government decides to create a pseudo definition and call it public policy. In
other situations the exercise of religious speech has influenced the people who
in-turn influence the enacting of laws that preserve and protect the very
definition of marriage. Government is to be prohibited from restricting and
influencing that which is contrary to the free exercise of religion.
@mormon thinker | 8:29 a.m.True, you don't have to be religious to
be good.Care to guess which direction a society will move over 50
years without religion?We don't have to guess. We live in such as
society. We have drifted very far from God since the Supreme Court Ruling
prohibiting prayer in school. When you can't teach people morality in school
they actually begin to support gay marriage, abortion, premarital sex and the
@SuttonYou are confusing freedom OF religion (a Constitutional guarantee)
and freedom FROM religion (not a right last time I checked).My
religiously born speech (and votes for that matter) are just as valid as your
irreligious ones. In fact, I resent the fact that you would try to limit my
rights at all.
Anti religious people have been assaulting religion and trying to force religion
to adhere to their belief system. They have used the courts, politicians and
the laws of the land to force people of faith to change.For example
the gay union movement. In Canada after changing the definition of marriage,
they immediately attacked religion and used the courts and lawsuits to take away
churches rights to define marriage and who the priest can marry. If they refused
to marry a gay couple the church was stripped of being able to assist in
adoption, donating food & clothing to the poor, performing marriages in the
church etc.If one group has soo much hate for people of faith, maybe
they need a lesson in tolerance.
When standing among people who are worried about religious freedom, President
Young is woried about religious freedom. Perhaps President Young needs to look
within his own university to see how his own professors are respecting religious
freedom. Perhaps he needs to take a close introspective look at how his
university's policies are respecting ALL of the rights protected by the Bill of
Rights. President Young needs to put his money where his mouth is.
@Mormon ThinkerDid you read my post before responding? By allowing the
creation of a new right to homosexual marriage, both society at large and I, on
a personal level, are affected. Again, Brian Brown, "It profoundly affects
me if my children are taught in schools that my views on marriage are bigoted.
It profoundly affects me if the church that Im part of is treated in the law as
bigoted."Other instances of this new supposed right affecting
religious liberty include (but are not limited to):-In MA (where
homosexual marriage is legal), a 2nd-grade teacher read "King &
King" (you can guess the storyline) to her classroom. A parent of one of
the 7-year-olds responded, "They're intentionally presenting this as a
norm, and it's not a value that our family supports."-Also in
MA, Catholic Charities closed their doors because the state has required them to
allow adoptions to same sex couples, and they refused citing religious
beliefs.-In CA, two Christian fertility doctors were censured for
refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian couple, citing religious
beliefs.Clearly, religious liberty IS being assaulted by the new
supposed right to homosexual marriage.
There are many commentators here that are proving the point made in the article.
You feel that because religion plays a part in my decision making process that
somehow my opinion is no logger valid. The fact that I am religious makes me
less of a citizen. You use the logic that was outlined in the article to come to
your conclusion.No matter how flawed my thinking may seem to you, I
still have the right to voice my opinion. This is how the rights of
the religious person will be eroded away.
'If one group has soo much hate for people of faith, maybe they need a lesson in
tolerance.' - Liberal Ted | 10:18 a.m. Really Liberal Ted? Can you still marry? Yes, or no? Because Voice of
Reason could only come up with 'objective truth.' If you want to
debate religion, fine. But you better make sure the person your
arguing with actaully believes IN, said faith. Because, otherwise,
your trying to 1) convert said person to believe your faith to: win
your argument, based on said religious belief. Rather than injecting
your religion into the conversation, it is a pitty you cannot win on, if any,
The problem is that religion is in many ways discriminated against. Why can the
environmentalist group meet on school grounds, but the bible club cannot? To those that say Gay marriage does not hurt others I ask the following: How
does praying at a high school football game hurt the atheist in the stands? How
does it force him to become religious? Is he not free to ignore the prayer? Yet
we continually get lawsuits from the ACLU regarding such issues. Gay marriage
legalization on the other hand requires me by law to recognize something I don't
believe in. I can't opt out.And if Gay marriage doesn't "harm others
with differing beliefs", how does polygamy cause harm, or incestual
marriage? But gay marriage advocates generally don't support the legalization of
these institutions. Why? Are they imposing their own belief system on others as
well?All laws are the imposition of ones belief system on others.
Whether that system is based on religous beliefs, or ones moral beliefs from
another construct it is no different, and all should be allowed in the
marketplace of ideas for free debate.
Vanka wrote at 9:17 a.m. that "Religious speech is easily classified as
'Commercial Speech.'" That's just wishful thinking. I'm not aware of any
such distinction in Federal Court or Supreme Court decisions, though Mr. Young
is suggesting we may be on our way to that point.Wikipedia cites two
comments of interest: "Justice Clarence Thomas replied, in 44 Liquormart,
Inc. v. Rhode Island (1996), that "I do not see a philosophical or
historical basis for asserting that 'commercial' speech is of 'lower value' than
'noncommercial' speech."Federal judge Alex Kozinski stated, in
regard to a 1942 court ruling, "the Supreme Court plucked the commercial
speech doctrine out of thin air."Vanka's "easily" is not so
easy, I think.
I'll now take what he says in the future with a grain of salt. Join the ACLU?
Is he kidding? That group is full of corruption and scandal on a continual
basis. I wouldn't touch the ACLU with a 5,000 foot pole, let alone anything
michaelitos | 10:29 a.m., Thank you for providing examples. 1) The 'King and King' support same gender couples. And yet, you take no
issue with the 'Hooters' in Midvale. Or taking a child to a 'traditional'
opposite gender wedding. Do your family values reflect all others? I
doubt it. 2) the 'Catholic Charities' you cite accepted homosexually
funded tax dollars, while trying to deny gay adoption. And last 3)
Since when is 'artificial insemination' a religious practice? x3
examples but zero showing a straight marriage harmed in any way due to a
seperate gay marriage. And that is why those against gay marriage
are loosing the debate. Not because you religious belief's are being
attacked... but because the arguments against gay marriage are
typically regligious in nature... and faced with a legal process
that does not factor what you BELIEVE... but rather, what is. "In most ways, the accumulated research shows, children of
same-sex parents are not markedly different from those of heterosexual
parents." - AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP) -
'Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents' - POLICY STATEMENT -
PEDIATRICS Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 339-340 - Pulished: 02/01/10
Spot On! There is definitely an attack on religious reasoning; secular opinions
are considered valid while religious opinions are not. Never mind that America
wouldn't exist if it wasn't for strong religious opinions, such as, monarchs are
not better than the common man because "all men are created equal".
Secular opinion might question that, and go so far as to suggest that genetic
testing determine who goes to the best schools and so on. This is just one
example, but my point is that the assumption that religious beliefs are less
valid than secular beliefs is not the direction America should be going.
Nice, Pagan: I thought about coming up with the many examples of what offends
me and goes against my values also, but decided against it, because you can't
convince the ignorant; typically it's their values that matter, end of story,
Mulder 21 is just plain wrong. Religion was not the reason for the Huns and
Tatars, nor was it the reason for the depredations of Nazi Germany and Soviet
Russia. It had nothing to do with Mao killing off 70 million Chinese.Those things alone outstrip all of the deaths due to all religions since
I have been one to chastise people who used purely religious arguments to
justify a particular public policy. Religious people have the right to make
arguments for the public good and to invoke morality. Lots of public policies
are based on morality.It is wrong to tax the poor to care for the
rich. The argument is a moral argument and that morality is a strong part of my
religion.We should set aside 10% Utah's land as a wilderness as a
natural tithe for the beauty of Utah (an argument made about 15 years ago by a
person who had a leadership role in SUWA). This is a purely religious
argument.If we want to revoke laws that have a strong religious
basis we should reinstate slavery (abolitionists used strong religious arguments
to argue against slavery) and we should restore Jim Crow laws (Martin Luther
King was a minister).Tekakaromatagi
Sutton:Joseph Smith sent Apostle Orson Hyde to "the Land of
Jerusalem" to dedicate it for the return of the Jews. It is God's land
that he gave to them.
What LDS beliefs are being threatened? Celestial Marriage, Revelation and
Prophecy, Baptism for the Dead, Kolob, limited entrance to the Temple? LDS or
any other belief system is threatened or impugned. The problem only arises when
religious organization attempt to exercise pressure in political affairs that
curtails other people's right and freedoms. Religious organizations usually cry
"foul" when people who are being negatively affected by church
intervention in politics defend their rights and strike back i.e Gay community
and other minority and causes.Your religious belief is and should always
be protected. However, you have no right to deprive other people of their rights
because of the set of beliefs you hold sacred.
Liberal Ted. The Canadian churches do not lose their tax free status or
anything elese for refusing to perform gay marriages - some do, some don't. The
LDS church does refuse.
As always those people who don't like religion or either choose not to or aren't
strong enough to uphold and live by their sometimes difficult tenants are prone
to discount the good it does for all of us (including the non-religious). Obviously religious freedom includes allowing those non-believers to do as
they please regarding their own personal worship, but to come out and say
religion should be done away with is laughable. Of course there are many
people who don't believe, but if you're standing on a road and don't see or hear
the dangerous semi coming towards you wouldn't you want someone who could see
and hear it to warn you it was coming?
@PaganAgainst my better judgment, I am responding to you.Your
flagrant attempts at making wild comparisons with no real basis (i.e. calling
those pertaining to a large religious organization "immoral",
comparing reading a book about homosexuality to 7-year-olds in a public school
to "hooters in Midvale", etc.) are meant merely to inflame. They do
not move the debate forward. Ridiculous comparisons like these do not inform or
even cause reflection.In each and every one of your examples, you
fail to truly counter the fundamental issue at hand. Religious liberty (a right
since the Founding Fathers) is indeed in conflict with the new social right you
defend (homosexual marriage). Merely because my opinion on the matter is
religiously motivated, it is in no way inferior to your irreligiously motived
I agree with Michael Young. He is absolutley right
All leftwing wackos are just plain wrong.Religion has every right to
be a voice in the public as much as any other voice,And to influence
publically in shaping our laws, values, morals, and social norms,and the same with any other voice,and the ones who can convince
the majority wins, that is how our system works.IT is a terrifying
thought that there are those on left that desire to shut down the free
speech/religion of those they disagree with,And PAGAN,when you try force your views and acceptance ofyour lifestyle on others that
is wrong, especially on children, against other's rights,and especially when you know full well your views are outside the societal
norm. the bottom line is this isa free country and you're free to go
live with those thatshare your values and views,go live were
majority share your values, don't expect the majority to change for you,
easily. the majority inAny area will be what what prevails
governmentally.Again, that's how our system works.we're
aPatchwork quilt not aGreyBlanket that some onThe left desire.Young
is right on all accounts, we must guardOur Rights.
The definition of marriage is and always has been: the union of a man and a
woman as husband and wife. The definition of husband is and always has been: a
man married to a woman. The definition of a wife is and always has been: a
woman married to a man. A same gender couple by definition does not fit the
definition of marriage. Efforts to change the law to legally alter the
definition of marriage to include an abnormal definition has everything to do
with society and its most basic organization as well as its morals. In
circumstances of changing definition to allow gay marriage society will be
@ Voice of Reason, you are quite the philosopher. Twist and turn to get to your
end point. So, is it moral relativism to support polygamy and oppose other acts
that some find offensive? It's a straight forward question, not one that need
be addressed by the authority of the moment. The problem is that many refuse to
face the fact that there is indeed lots of gray, including in the application of
Christian principles. Saying there is no gray does not change the fact that
gray is all around us.
@michaelitos Excellent points.You might already be
aware, but many of the points you make have a good legal analysis from an
article in Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy:"Or For
Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty".
My religion accepts gay marriage. So how are other religions not imposing their
religious beliefs and limiting mine when they try and legislate anti-gay
Esquire:Here is the definition of 'Moral Relativism':Moral relativism is the result of a philosophy that holds since we can't justify or confirm any hypothesis (scientific, metaphysical, ethical, religious), we must abandon rationality entirely for irrationalism.The fact that any point can't be completely proven does not mean that
rationality needs to be abandoned for irrationalism. Nor does it mean that
'Half-truths' need to be accepted lock, stock, and barrel ('gray', in this
case).The arguments in this board have primarily been made based
upon emotion rather than logic. Both you and Pagan ask for a logical response to
'prove' you wrong. However, if a logical response is given to either of you, you
both ignore it for the 'emotional' mindset you each possess. The same goes for
others on the board that are trying to 'prove' you wrong. If it were all about
logic, perhaps we'd all agree. That would not necessarily be a good thing.We should remember one thing, though. As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once
said, 'The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.'
Everyone has the right to believe - despite how you may believe.
"Or For Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty". -
Utes Fan | 1:25 p.m. Thank you. I will try to read this.
Have you seen: *'Same-Sex Marriage: Who Profits?' - Reported
by ABC News - 04/08 - By Aude Lagorce, Forbes magazine. 'Same-Sex Marriage
Could Add $16.8 Billion to Industry' *'Gay marriage wins rulings in
pair of federal challenges' - By Denise Lavoie - AP - Published by DSNews -
07/08/10 'U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled in favor of gay couples'
rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA,
a 1996 law that the Obama administration has argued for repealing. The rulings
apply to Massachusetts but could have broader implications if they're upheld on
appeal. Have you read the American Acadamy of Pediatraics
statement? And the truth | 12:55 p.m., How am I
'forcing' you accept gay marriage... if you are not part of one? I gladly accept, and promote straight marriage. Newt
Gingrich is on his third marriage.
Religion, like most organizations, flourishes in the free market and withers
when merged with government. Keep religion in the free market where it belongs.
Protect people's free market religious expressions robustly. Do not use
government to promote or establish religions. Do not use government money for
faith-based (religious) purposes at all. Do not restrict an individual's right
to believe and practice his religion if such practices do not infringe others'
rights. The U.S. is a secular government--that does not mean it is
atheist. Our government has no stance one way or the other the issue of a belief
in gods or on any exclusively religious beliefs. None of the
Constitutional principles are religious at all. Why do you people want to
destroy a system that has worked so well for so long?
re:MichaelitosCatholic Charities DID NOT close their doors. Catholic
Charities were involved with the MA state adoption system and actually HAD
PLACED children with same-sex couples. The controversy erupted when the Boston
Globe reported on the same-sex adoptions and Catholic leaders (Vatican?)
requested their adoption services stop placement of children with same-sex
couples. Of course, since same-sex marriage was legal in MA the Church felt it
was going to be a legal issue if they stopped same-sex adoptions. Therefore,
they stopped adoption services. Note: The LDS Church provides adoption services
in MA but since they only do voluntary adoptions and don't get state money they
are free to "discriminate." As for the CA infertility
treatments? Same-sex marriage was not legal in CA at the time, so had nothing
to do with same-sex marriage. The California Medical Association had initially
sided with Drs. Brody and Fenton, but the case, North Coast Women's Care Medical
Group v. Superior Court, was decided unanimously by the California State Supreme
Court in favor of plaintiff Benitez on August 19, 2008.There are
clearly complex issues of discrimination which need to be addressed.
Again: We all have belief systems. Religions are belief systems that include a
deity. Secular belief systems do not. When the SCOTUS decided to prohibit
prayer in school and exclude religion from the public square they made belief
systems that include God legally inferior to all other belief systems.This action placed a stamp of disapproval on all religions and implies that
there is something wrong with religion. It also placed all religions on unlevel
ground by comparison to secular systems.I am willing to write a
$1000 check to anyone who can produce the words "Separation of Church and
State" in the constitution (Supreme Court rulings do not apply).The first amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law
regarding the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise
thereof."If congress were to pass a law prohibiting prayer in
school it would clearly be unconstitutional and their job is to create law.Article 1 Section 1 of the constitution reads: "All legislative
power belongs to a Congress..."Since ALL legislative power
belongs to congress there is NO legislative power anywhere else. The SCOTUS
cannot create law. How in Gods name did they outlaw prayer in school?
@the rock I find it amazing that you bring up prayer in school, like
it was really banned. 5 minutes of reading debunks any claims to the contrary.
Compulsory prayer was banned, individual prayer is still alright. I
would hope you and all other people who enjoy their freedom of religion can see
how this policy protects the freedom of everybody. Please be
informed before you post so no one needs to waste time explaining something that
is and should be common knowledge.
Esquire Of course theres grey all around usas we perceive the world. Just
because thats all you can see doesnt mean the world actually is grey. If you
see grey, its only because you are blending the black & white together with
imperfect eyes. Its beyond arrogant to think that you seeing something is the
standard for whether its real.Tharhows that fer filosofyin?Pagan, you say that those supporting traditional marriage are loosing(sic) the
debate. Actually yes, we are losingin five very liberal states and one tiny
Indian tribe in Oregon. In the rest of the 45 states we have clearly WON the
debateeven in California. The American people continue to speak loud and clear:
gay marriage is no more a right than polyandry or sibling marriage. And there are many, many reasons beyond religion to oppose gay marriage: no
children (spare me the infertile granny analogies), orders-of-magnitude higher
STD rates, over 20 years lower life expectancy, and denying a child a mother and
father, among many other problems. You can be a flaming atheist and still
logically oppose gay marriage.
The Rock is dead on what most people seem to miss. You cannot prohibit the Free
Exercise of religion. Legislators and judges who decide otherwise are in blatant
violation of the Constitution. Would someone out there please explain how
allowing individuals to pray in school or other public facilities, while
allowing anyone to opt out of said prayer without penalty, is a violation of the
establishment clause?How are religions more discriminatory than secular
individuals? Why is it acceptable to discriminate against an individual based on
their religious beliefs, which many people do, but abhorrent to discriminate
based on anything else? People have discriminated against Mormons since Prop 8,
while at the same time shouting that we need to be tolerant of those we disagree
with. Quite hypocritical.With regards to comparing King and King to
Hooters, there is a big difference. I can keep my kids away from Hooters. It is
difficult to keep my kids away from school, and private school is too expensive
for most to afford since. Many of these schools refuse to notify parents so they
can opt their kids out of the lessons because hey want to force their political
ideology on the kids.
I, for one, will exercise my freedom to talk about being accountable to God,
even in a publicly funded institution. As long as I do not require membership in
a certain domination, it is perfectly legal. The Constitution includes a
few religious beliefs, by the way, such as "all men are created
equal", and requiring senators and representatives to swear an oath,
(usually on the bible), and which until recently included the words, "so
help me God". Religion in society should not only be tolerated, but
approved of, because we can do this without picking an official religion.
@chieftessPlease familiarize yourself with what the Constitution
actually says, and not what you wish it said. How many times does the
Constitution mention god? None. When you read the part of taking oaths for
public office you must have skipped the part that explicitly says there will be
no religious test for public officials. There are no religious
beliefs in the Constitution and to claim otherwise is patently false. There may
be principles in the Bill of Rights that align with religious beliefs, but that
does not mean they came from those beliefs.
So.... which version of which religion is the right one that should be backed by
force of law? I would think the LDS would have something to fear from some of
the other sects. Separation of church and state is about protecting church
members from zealous members of other churches as much as non believers from
believers and vice versa.
@zero_limits_33You know very well what I was talking about. The only
way you could come to that conclusion is through self inflicted blindness.
I'm kind of wondering what the distinction would be between a 'religion' and a
group of people that have come together and made some sort of 'charter' and go
out and 'do good' according to their definition of good. And, I suppose that the
answer would be that, at its inception, the organization in question would have
to apply for some sort of legal license to be recognized as a church in the
United States. I certainly believe in the first amendment as an essential
protector to these kinds of rights which humans as spiritual beings have, to
band together to form churches. However, I am not naive enough to think that all
actions done as the result of allowing such banding together would be good for
all churches, or even that there may not conceivably be a 'church' formed under
such rules that would be detrimental to its members, on the whole, and for
society in general. But I am concerned about the silent encroachment on these
liberties, and if they are taken away, I would contend that the state is then
the de facto religion- for good or for ill. OK, for ill.
To Camotin:The first amendment does not make religion
"special." It says that the government cannot make laws respecting
its establishment or the free exercise of that religion that is established.
Sounds like hands off to me. Nothing is said about "special." If
they could make "special" laws about religion, then it could be called
"special." Since when is the lack of an action an action?Furthermore, it seems to me that religion maybe needs to start losing a few
wars; then maybe religion will be pressed into getting its act better together.
Religion has been ruling the roost (including governments) for a very long time,
and I'm thinking that maybe religion doesn't like being told it needs to shape
up. Doesn't religion needs to be accountable in some way?
In general I agree with Michael Young. However on the specific question of the
ACLU I have to vehemently disagree with him.The ACLU has
unrelentingly opposed the freedom of conscience of medical worksers. It has
opposed the right of parents to control their children's education. It has
relentlessly supported under false guises the end of man/woman marriage and its
supplanting by genderless marriage. Worst of all it has in general opposed
meaningful religious liberty and has advocated an understanding of the First
Admendment that is false.True, the ACLU publicly opposed the ruling
in Employment Division v. Smith, but as Dallin H. Oaks has pointed out it is the
ACLU's own rhetoric of attempting to equate religion with belief that led to the
social milieu that caused that decision. Scalia's arguments about what would
happen if religion was upheld in the decision were able to gain a majority
because religion had been broadly misrepresented.The civil rights
movement and the abolition movement both worked because they had the power of
religion on their side.
Mulder21, Religion was the main force behind the civil rights
movement. I have no clue how you link so much bad to religion. I
would challenge you to name one war in the 20th century that was caused by
religion. World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnames War, the
Gulf War, the Angolan Civil War, the various wars in China, and many others do
not qualify.Even conflicts that were framed in the light of
religious differences can hardly be said to be caused by religion. The Arab
nations that attacked Israel in various wars were universaly lead by secularist
governments, and the founders of Israel specifically rejected the notions of
waiting for salvation from the Messiah. They were not a religious group. The
wars following the collapse of Yugosalvia were also ethnic, not religious
fights.Each one of the arguments that Dr. Young presented can be
shown to be false. The argument that religious groups should be excluded from
politics inherently contradicts the first one. However religion is about more
than just shared values, it is about a world-view and set of goals.
You're confusing religious freedom with religious popularity. More people are
choosing atheism and agnosticism than ever before. And that IS religious
Sutton, Jews in Israel are an ethnic group, so do not act like their
actions are religios. However, I suspect what you refer to is actions of the
Israeli government, which actually has Arabs and Circassians in its military,
neither of which are Jews, as well as many Russian immigrants who would not even
self-describe as Jews except on the specific law-of-return applications. The
theory that anything any Jew does anywhere can be blamed on religion is one of
the marks of an anti-semitic argument.Beyond this, it is unclear why
you are so one-sided and do not focus on the continued rocket attacks on Israeli
civilians from the Islamist group, Hamas. However, this equally ignores the
much good done by the US based Islamic Relief Services.Why you
equate burning a book to bombings that kill civilians or actions that allegedly
destroy houses is also odd. Burning a book is unnessasarily provocative, but
people have a right to be provocative. We can not limit religious freedom to
groups we like, but the benefits of religion are definite.
Vanka, Religious liberty must be protecting the rights of organized
religious societies to act. Young would adamantly disagree with your
assesment.Religious liberty is impossible unless the organized group
can act. Religious liberty neccesitates the right to build religious buildings
according to the dictates of your religion within a reasonable distance of your
residence based on your religious principals. Thus the over-bearing
anti-religious assembly in commercial areas laws are an unacceptable
discrimination against Orthodox Jews.If the collective rights of
religious societies are not recognized, than religious liberty is just a
meaningless phrase. This is why the ACLU's position on religious liberty is so
destructive. They consistently oppose the right of religious organizations to
participate in society even on the level of other groups. They act like their
must be a crodon sanitare against any religious action on public land and thus
seek to force an anti-religious stance by governemnt officials, which is an
inherent violation of the 1st admendment.
@the rockI actually do not know what you were talking about. First
you assert the banning of prayer from schools, which is a false assertion. Then
you used your false assumption to make the point that believers are made to be
second class citizens, which is also false. After that you propped up a 'straw
man' by offering a $1000 for anyone who could find the phrase "separation
of church and state" in the Constitution, which no educated person would
claim so the offer is absurd. Finally you imply the Supreme Court overstepped
their bounds when they banned prayer from schools, which false on more than one
level. Self-inflicted blindness? If I misrepresented your views at
all I sincerely apologize, but to debate/argue over false assumptions/claims is
a waste of time. Prayer was not banned from anywhere in the public. It is one
thing for you or your children, or a group of friends to gather together and
pray to whatever you choose. It is an entirely different thing for students to
be made to participate, or even be present when a prayer is said that may or may
not represent their views.
Mr. Lambert of Michigan,The First Amendment and the Supreme Court
says you are wrong. Sorry to have to break it to you, but your ambitions for a
theocracy to usher in the Millennium are strictly forbidden by the Constitution
of the United States. We need not "thank God" for that; we can simply
thank our atheistic, agnostic, and tepid-religious-universalist Founders.
All the lonely people where do they all come from?
Everyone should be defensive for religious freedoms. It is the First Amendment
because it is crucial to humanity and American survival. Last
century 70 million people were murdered as oppressive atheistic regimes sought
to take religious and other freedoms, often singling out religious minorities
for destruction. In America all voices are heard-right?Dictators don't dictate. A single gay judge, Warren Jeffs, no one can dictate
their morality over American voting, over "One woman, One Man." When religious people are active and involved in voting we don't single
out, sue, shutdown call centers, vandalize, desecrate sacred spaces, smash
windows, threaten, or take employment. Right?Elder Oaks spoke out
for freedom, and what did America do? The Tribune voted him
"worst person." I commented on the Tribune and activists
explained they were going after my Church every day, until 08 was overturned,
and their intent was to drive LDS into the ground. Activists posted
all kinds of anti-Mormon propaganda, called for destruction, bombing,
elimination, and extermination orders.The Tribune responded by
banning...not the activists (they're still here also), but peacefully outspoken
LDS. Why? I asked. The Tribune doesn't "have
time to learn about every ideology."
People make the wrong assertion between Church and State. This is and has been
a phrase used to counter almost all religious statements. There is NO such
statement in the Constitution of the United States. There is a COURT
intrepretation that there is. This is a false premise.If the
atheist, agnostics and others have their way there will be no way a religious
person could even walk down the street. All Churches would need to be boarded
up and closed. The Bibles, Qurans, Book of Mormons would all be burned and the
followers exterminated. The thing is, what I have just stated is pure prophecy.
It will come down to it that you are either a follower of Jesus Christ or you
are not. There will be a huge difference in the two populations. This will
happen and as some have already hinted it is happening today. In the end it
won't matter because those that are not followers of Christ will be destroyed in
the same manner as mentioned in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi. Don't believe it,
then wait and see.
In my view, generally, religion is like a "double edge sword", a
powerful force cutting both ways. Religion is often practiced for the good of
humanity and at other times it is used for evil purposes. It all depends on the
human hands wielding the sword; wheather religion becomes an uplifting source of
strength, or who gets hurt in the process. The big problem for me
is the MOTIVATION behind the wielding human hands, not necessarily the
possession of a belief system. It is naturall for human beings to have an
acquired belief systems (including organized relgion and all types of
"ism" beliefs) that cannot simply be pushed aside or ignored. Why then do individuals or collective groups practice what they
practice? And who is to say: who is right and who is wrong in
practicing what they sincerely believe?
Freedom, and especially religious freedom, is crucial to humanity and America.
This is why American Founders, who were all religious, made religious freedom
the First Amendment. Along with what I mentioned above about the
Tribune and gay activists, all Americans should be concerned that other powerful
groups also seek to destroy the First Amendment. The ACLU, for
example, systematically singles out a religious minority and seeks to take their
rights to free speech and to own property. The ACLU will fight for the right to
spew hatred at Mormons and disrupt sacred ceremonies ON LDS owned property. The
ACLU also fights to take away Mormons rights to speak freely on property LDS
have leased in the middle of the desert. They block LDS rights to buy land, and
to lease. They have justified preventing LDS to speak freely in Martins Cove
because, as they put it, someone needs to be blamed for the deaths there.
Apparently, they want to do all the blaming and not let anyone freely speak the
truth as recorded in pioneer journals. It seems they do all America
allows to follow hateful steps of socialist and atheist predecessors in Germany,
USSR, and China
If people beleive religious freedom is in danger, take a look at Westboro
baptist church's recent victories in the courts! If such a disgusting excuse for
a religion can stay strong in "these times", the rest of the religions
have nothing to worry about.
The President of the UofU says we should stand up for our religious rights?
Maybe he should take the first step and clean house in his own school. Too many
students there aren't sure if they're paying for routine athiest brainwashing
sessions or for a professional education. Once he's set an example for the rest
of us I'll listen a little harder to what he has to say.
Bruce T. Forbes,Your comment is confusing. Please clarify for us.How exactly would restricting the religious and academic freedom of UofU
professors be a move toward religious freedom?Or is this what we
supposed, that you want religious freedom for YOU, but not for the other guy?
To Sundance: If you cared to read what the Supreme Court had to say you would
see that the case had nothing to do with Religion but the First Admendment Right
to Free Speech.All of the Supreme Court denounced them protesting
but said it is their right to voice their opinion. Now I don't agree with them
protesting because what they are saying is inheritly incorrect but I served to
protect their right to say and protest.It had nothing to do with
freedom of religion. When you say religion has no place in the public square as
many atheist and agnostic state then you are DESTROYING MY RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF
RELIGION. When you come out and draw grafitii on temple grounds, blacklist
religious people because they gave to a cause they believe in, that is
destroying freedom of religion.Again the Westboro case had nothing
to do with religion but freedom of speech.
Exactly Bill! As long as there is freedom of assembly, freedom of press and
freedom of speech..you and your religion will be just fine!
There is too much fear mongering with religions. Everything is an apocalyptic
event it would seem (yes that is generalizing). If people actually stopped and
examined the constitution, they would have relatively little to fear.
re: John Pack Lambert of Michigan | 10:28 p.m. April 5, 2011 "I
have no clue how you link so much bad to religion." Obviously,
you are not a student of history or even worse you are cherry picking from it.
Have you not heard the saying that, "Religion ruled the dark
ages." Maybe, I'm wrong? Could it be the Crusades and
Inquizition were all sunshine & lollipops? sarcasm off.As for
WW2, go look up the controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII.
What I find amusing is that the GOP under Reagan was a big tent. Since then, the
Christian right has become more & more intertwined w/ the Republican Party.
This IMO has lead me to confirm that Power corrupts. The
more the two entities merge will only prove why Jefferson's letter to the
Danbury Baptists and Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli may prove to be so
crucial to the USA's well being.
How true, but it would also be nice if there was religious freedom with the LDS
church instead of this constant barrage from the appologists within the LDS
church. i.e. The belief of the Book of Mormon by FAITH, and just because their
is no DNA or other physical evidence - am I know still allowed to believe in it
by FAITH? The belief that temple worship is that and it's eternal realm and not
some Masonic ritual. The belief that polygamy was valid. the belief that only
the Lord knows, that blacks was excluded from the Priesthood for a reason. No, there are those within the LDS church that says you CAN NOT have
faith, there must be actual evidence of the BofM - how about my FREEDOM?